Our scripture this morning is Psalms 147:12-20.
Extol the Lord, Jerusalem; praise your God, Zion. He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the Lord.
How often do we praise the Lord “just because”? We offer thanks and praise when our loved ones are healed, when we are saved from a bad situation and many others after the fact, but God deserves our praise all the time, simply because He is our loving creator. This psalm reminds us of the blessings Israel enjoyed and that we continue to receive today.
God does this because He loves us and wants good things for us. We are called to be in relationship with Him and the only thing that prevents that is our own pride and selfishness. We are the primary obstacle to our own salvation!
However, God continues to reach out to us, even in our sin. He made a way for us to return to a faith connection to Him through the gift of Jesus. God wants all of us back and that is a reason for thanks and praise.
Heavenly Father, we are ashamed of our failures and sorry for disobeying Your commandments. Forgive our mistakes and lead us to eternal life through Christ our Lord, Amen.